I spent some time searching and couldn't find the answer so...
Does including a referral tracker destroy the value of the backlink?
If so, is using a referral tracker for the interlinking between your hubs greater than the value the backlink will provide?
It doesn't destroy the value, but it does dilute it.
We don't encourage using referral trackers in your own hubs. The purpose of the affiliate program is to reward users who bring in new people from elsewhere on the web, and, as I said above, it does dilute the SEO benefit somewhat.
The only reason I'd put a referral tracker in my own hub is because not all of your traffic is going to come from Hubpages or your own links A LOT will come from Google or other search engines.
So if they come to your hub from search engine results and you link them to another one of your hubs, it might actually be a good idea to include your referral link.
Because then if they come from Google, click your link and check out your other hub and THEN sign up... you just got a referral from search engine traffic. Otherwise you can't get referrals from search engine traffic and you'll find that most of your traffic will come from search engines.
I thought the redirect on the referal link passed on the backlink value?
If it is diluted, it is insignificant compared to the advantages of having someone becoming a referral.
I won't be changing any links.
Thanks for that comment, Maddie. I didn't realize that at first so now I am systematically changing the referral links back to regular links for most of my hubs.
If that is the case, because I keep hearing it both ways, I will leave them alone, and just be more strategic going forward.
Let me see if I get this right...
HP offers a way to track traffic by using referral trackers. I've created a number of these based on where I promote my work on HP. For example, if I leave a link at sxc.hu, then I can track that link by its specific HP tracker, which might be something like "from sxc". I want to know where traffic and referrals are coming from.
So, are you saying that by my taking advantage of this HP feature that I am somehow "diluting" a backlink value?
And what if I am not getting referrals (but getting traffic) from the site I created a tacker for...just exactly how is this backlink diluted, meaning, how does it affect hubscores and monetization and all those other measures I don't have a clue about right now?
It will have no effect on HubScore or monetization. It has been suggested that there could be a slight effect in terms of SEO.
Paul Deeds said this in another thread:
"Links with trackers in them actually redirect (301) to the URL without the tracker. I believe search engines will still count links that redirect as a vote for the final page, but they probably discount the weight of vote somewhat."
MyWebs in another thread said:
"This I am not worried about because I'm 100% certain Google currently passes all the juice to the page the 301 points at."
MyWebs came to this conclusion after he watched a few videos on the subject by Matt Cutts.
This is what I have to say about HubPages tracking:
HubPages has a unique system that rewards people for sending traffic (being able to send traffic to other Hubbers who have fantastic hubs AND get a small reward for doing so is a brilliant strategy) and the very same tracker will credit you if the visitor signs up to HubPages.
Not every single sign up will be productive. In fact you're doing well if 1 in 10 publish a hub. And if 1 in 10 who do publish hubs go on to be active.
But it's the gift that keeps on giving. A one off payment (a la Squidoo and Factoidz) does not compare with the HubPage referral system.
Don't go silly with it though. When it comes to linking within your own hubs, or to other hubs from your own, go for it. The same applies to linking to hubs from your own websites and blogs or on your own profile on social networking sites like Facebook.
Proceed with caution if you do so on other forums, some admins, mods and loyal forum participants regard tracking/affiliate links with suspicion.
And avoid using trackers when using social bookmarking sites. Sites like Digg don't like multiple links but with different URLs to the same page. A lot are not keen on referral links. So to avoid your account being banned or hubpages.com being blacklisted, I'd not use tracking links on social bookmarking sites.
Thank you darkside for this thorough response.
I am not in the SEO world, so some of your words soar over my head.
However, I will check out the links you provided to Paul and Matt.
Meanwhile, until I earn some certification in SEO savvy and can chisel the fine points of the discipline into something smoother than sharp shards, I'll keep using those trackers as I have been using them, to track traffic more than to track referrals. Since I'm not blazing trails on social network sites, there's no concern there about HP.
Bendo13, very good point and this is what I thought it was meant to be used for...thanks.
by kerryg 10 years ago
I've read the FAQ, darkside's hubs, and several forum threads and didn't see an answer to this.If somebody lands on one of my hubs via a Google search, for example, and thinks "WTF is this cr*p? I could do better!" or (hopefully!) "Wow, this is so awesome - I want to join this site...
by Cat 6 years ago
I have read everything I can, mostly through HP, about referral trackers and how to set them up but I still am struggling with this. Is there a "Referral Tracker for Dummies". I have no previous knowledge of this and I would love a step by step instruction guide. A lot of the instructions...
by Rafini 22 months ago
Wow, a lot sure has changed over the years, even over the past few months - since I published my last hubs. I'm ready to jump back in, and want to share links to my articles using the referral trackers BUT seem to be doing something wrong. I watched the video from the FAQ page but it is...
by Pandoras Box 8 years ago
Trying to see if I understand this correctly. The trackers only work from outside of HP, correct? So if I have a new affiliate tracker on my profile page or in a hub, it's worthless to me, right? And if I link from one of my hubs to someone else's via a traffic tracker, again, it does me no good,...
by Tanya Jones 4 years ago
I have tried to condition myself to use the referral tracker links whenever promoting my hubs. Sometimes I forget. Does anyone see any value in using them? Just wondering.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For fellow hubbers who don't know where to get the referral tracker links, at the bottom of each hub, the...
by Whitney 9 years ago
I know it's been asked before. I've even asked it before. But is there a better and easier way to bring in links to a link capsule from another hub. It'd make linking series so much easier. I spent about 2 hours yesterday linking an old series that I have together. It included about 20 or so hubs...
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